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Accessibility is not accommodating the differently abled but creating an empathetic design that works for all.


Accessibility Website Design Competition

Knowbility Hosts an 8-week-long Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) annually, where design and development teams are connected to Non-Profits to create an accessible website.
The Client I worked with participated in the competition. We were a team of 6 spread across India, Egypt and the US. The NPO assigned to us was the National Women's Theatre Festival (NWTF). I was the Team leader and designer.

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Major Learnings

Leading his pseudo-team freelancing experience helped me grow as a responsible Team lead

I don't have to be the strongest

As the youngest team member, I didn't have experience or opinions to offer. So, apart from the effort, I put up my time on the table (which others could not offer). It turned out to be one of the most important aspects that got us to the finish line.

Accommodate Zones

Our team was spread across half the globe- the US, Egypt, and India. The client was from Florida and the mentor was from Europe. Apart from time zones, I also took care of comfort working zones. We collectively decided the platforms for individual documentation and collaborative work. I connected to people on their preferred communication channels- Slack, WhatsApp, Signal, and Teams and consolidated weekly progress for everyone to be on same page.

Things will go wrong

In the duration of 8 weeks, we had the incident of Storm Ian, team members getting ill, and long reply durations. The project planning had accounted for just the right intermediate buffers and the final buffer for us to make it in time and deliver our client and the competition a decent website.

8 week engagement

The 8-week-long competition was a total roller coaster. Things did not go the picture-perfect way described below, but I guess they were never meant to :). In any case, the below timeline gives a fair idea of how I was able to guide the team to the finish line, in time. There were optimisations and challenges along the way.


Personally, I think I did pretty well, especially with starting off early and keeping enough buffer for uncertainties. It was the first time leading a team where everyone was elder to me. Except for one member, I guess I identified the strengths of the team members correctly. I guess that now I am more confident than before to head a small team, especially a design team.

Accessibility insights



Accessibility is not accommodating the marginalised but to create something which works for all. Accessibility guidelines are pretty mature and one can refer to WCAG for accessibility compliance. For general websites, AA compliance should be good. All govt. websites abide by WCAG. Non-compliance may have legal implications. 


Accessibility Checks

For foundations, we established an accessible colour palate. Next, we targeted a type scale that has no mirror alphabets and legible formats. Lastly, a few design components need to have accessible use like media need to have media controls. Other design components may not be accessible. Eg: unintuitive Parallax implementation. mixing vertical and horizontal scrolls.


Tools and extensions

We used Figma for this project. Our go-to tool for accessibility checks was Stark - a free plugin for quite a few accessibility checks. To check accessibility issues for a published website, one can use ACE extension for google chrome. For WordPress, the WP Accessibility plugin is just amazing. WordPress seemed generally a great platform that supports accessibility actively.

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